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Riverside judge tosses law allowing terminally ill to end lives

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A California judge has thrown out a 2016 state law allowing the terminally ill to end their lives, ruling it was unconstitutionally approved by the Legislature.

Lawyers for advocates and opponents say Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia did not rule on the legality of physician-assisted death. He issued an oral ruling Tuesday saying lawmakers acted illegally in passing the law during a special session devoted to other topics.

Ottolia kept the law in place and gave the state attorney general five days to appeal.

The Life Legal Defense Foundation, American Academy of Medical Ethics and several physicians brought the lawsuit.

The law allows terminally ill adults to obtain a prescription for life-ending drugs if a doctor has determined they have six months or less to live.

The law was inspired by Brittany Maynard, a 30-year-old woman with a terminal condition who ended her life in Oregon, where it was legal to do so.


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